Amy Africa

Don't make the user confirm. If you do, you'll lose more than 40 percent to 60 percent of your sign-ups on average, sometimes more 
depending on your category and/or your target demographics.

Plurk? Twitter? FriendFeed? Utterz? Social networking is all the rage. Everyone seems to want to know more about Web 2.0. That’s especially unfortunate for traditional catalogers and direct marketers whose sites are still at Web .05. Here are the reasons: • These days, most businesses get more than enough Web traffic. • They just don’t know how to convert it effectively. • And to mask their inability to actually enable people to easily add stuff to their carts and check out seamlessly, these companies send more and more traffic to flawed sites. Short term, it can be a great idea. Long term, it’s

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? How does the nonstick material stick to the bottom of the pan? Why do we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway? Life has many mysteries. Building a perfect checkout system is not one of them. Users Know Best Over the past decade, Internet users have repeatedly told us what works best in checkouts. Unfortunately, many companies ignore the customers’ sage advice — which is proven by sales and conversion in the cart — and recreate the wheel. This is nothing short of a travesty, and if you’re smart, or at least hungry for

Every business-to-business (B-to-B) merchant should take the time to optimize its homepage space to ensure its customers have a positive experience, said Amy Africa, president of Eight By Eight, a strategic consulting firm specializing in online and offline integration, in her session “The Best of the Best: B-to-B’s Top 25 Web Sites” at the Sixth Annual MeritDirect Business Mailer’s Co-op and Interactive Marketing Conference held last month in White Plains, N.Y. Africa offered the following tips for b-to-b marketers interested in taking their Web entry pages from so-so to stellar: 1. The entry page should download as quickly as possible. “Make sure important stuff loads in

To fix your Web site, the first thing you need to do is to make it fast. The average site loads in 46 seconds, but within eight to 12 seconds people decide whether to stay on a site or not. —Amy Africa, president, Creative Results

By Katie Haegele For 132 years the Park Seed Co. has been a mainstay for expert and novice gardeners alike. The marriage between its trusted print catalog and its snazzy new Web site is a model relationship worth studying In the next year, Park will have one of the top five sites, usability-wise, in the United States," says Amy Africa, e-commerce consultant and president of Creative Results. A veteran of the catalog-selling business, Park Seed had lots of compelling reasons to get online—and to do it right. "I've studied gardening e-business since started," says Africa. "That was a great site with a

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